Cutaway Comics, an independent comic imprint based in Manchester, has launched its titles featuring worlds and characters from BBC’s Doctor Who – drawing them into darker recesses of a dangerous, unpredictable cutaway universe.
The project has launched with a crowdfunder for a new four part comic mini-series, Lytton, a new tale starring the intergalactic soldier from his creator, writer and script editor Eric Saward, with art by Barry Renshaw, that has smashed its original, modest target.
Offering a noir thriller featuring a popular character from the worlds of Doctor Who, the character is owned by the creator – one of a number of classic characters from the series who can, and in some cases already have enjoyed life beyond their original TV incarnations.
Mixing writers new to comics with experienced artists, Cutaway Comics aims bring a new perspective to characters using fresh British creatives.
“I was always fascinated by strips in the back of Doctor Who Weekly that didn’t feature the Doctor,” says publisher Gareth Kavanagh, one half of the publishing duo behind Vworp Vworp alongside Colin Brockhurst, the acclaimed fanzine chronicling the history of Doctor Who comics. “Instead, the monsters took centre stage – and the stories were terrifying.
“This is our homage to those unpredictable and wild stories with the next generation of talent.”
Cutaway Comics has been working with writers, artists and rights holders to deliver an ambitious chapter of storytelling with villains, aliens, and planets from the worlds of Doctor Who and beyond.
The first ‘chapter’ of Cutaway Comics includes a visit to author Stephen Wyatt‘s giant tower block of Paradise Towers, Bob Baker and the late Dave Martin‘s the rogue god Omega attempting to free himself of his black hole prison – and a dimension-hopping trip to 1970’s Soho in Lytton.
Lytton made his debut in Doctor Who’s fan favourite serial, Resurrection of the Daleks. The comics is a brand new story written by his creator Eric Saward and featuring art from Barry Renshaw, whose credits include strips for various Futurequake Press titles. He has also illustrated Star Wars cards for Topps Cards and The X-Files cards for Upper Deck.
In this four-issue mini-series, Intergalactic soldier Lytton has swapped the battlefields for a jazz club in 1970’s Soho. If only it wasn’t for the strange noises in the sewers, rumours of vicious aliens in the dark alleyways, and a terrible sense of murder in the air, then everything might be perfect…
Eric Saward is a name familiar to Doctor Who fans for being a script editor for both Peter Davison and Colin Baker’s Doctors, and story writer, too.
“It has been an adventure pushing one of my own characters into this visual medium,” he says. “I’ve very much enjoyed seeing my characters take on a life of their own after all this time!”
Further stories to come from Cutaway Comics include Omega: Vengeance, which sees rogue god Omega pulling the strings to escape his black hole prison – but will the society of Minyos fall as a result? Influenced by Greek mythology, the mix of cosmic and mythologic will appeal to fans of The Sandman and Promethea.
Omega: Vengeance is written by Mark Griffiths, whose children’s book series, Spy Toys (written under the pen name Mark Powers), has been optioned by Dreamworks, Omega also features art by the legendary John Ridgway, whose credits include the Doctor Who strip for Doctor Who Magazine, 2000AD and Hellblazer, as well as his own projects.
Following Omega: Vengeance will be a return to the world of Paradise Towers, a giant tower block with teenage gangs, murderous old ‘rezzies’, and underground whispers that might topple the tower block once and for all. “Think ’The Thirteenth Floor’ meets ‘Halo Jones’,” says Gareth.
Written by Sean Mason, who has previously adapted 2000AD‘s The Ballad of Halo Jones and Alan Moore and David Lloyd‘s V for Vendetta for the stage, the artist will be announced shortly.
Cutaway Comics Kickstarter for Lytton aims to raise awareness of the project (and it’s certainly done that!), offering exclusive perks such as digital copies and the chance for you to appear in a future issue in the series.
Beyond the comics, each issue ordered directly from the Cutaway Comics webstore will include an exclusive bonus DVD with the following content planned: video commentaries on the comic featuring artist Barry Renshaw and writer Eric Saward; an introduction to the series from Eric; new interviews with Eric and Barry; newly recorded audio commentaries for Gangsters, the series that shot original Lytton actor Maurice Colbourne to fame, featuring series creator Philip Martin and BFI Historian Dick Fiddy; a newly recorded audio commentary for The Caves of Androzani featuring Salateen actor Robert Glenister; plus deleted pages, and concept art.